Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Vengeance Weapon Batteries

In the process of painting up some of the Vengeance Weapon Batteries. They are part of the GW Apocalypse release. Very simple models with very few parts and no spruces. I purposely left all the gothic add on off of the models. I want them to look more like field fortifications than armed pieces of architecture.
I still have a few steps remaining and will post finished photos of them.

The finished product. With some weathering and a layer of Testors Dullcoat

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Four Color Camo Scheme on Chimeras

Two completed Chimeras in 4 color scheme
This time I want to show you how to do a four color camo scheme. It's actually quite simple. Even more so if you have an airbrush. If you do not, then do not worry, you can do the same thing with standard spray cans. Here is the final look of my Chimeras. I would love to show you what I had envisioned from the first Imperial Armor, but I don't want to cause any issues with the big guys in Nottingham.
There are a few rules to remember when using spray cans. These are basic pointers, if you already know these skip to the next paragraph. You want to spray the paint on lightly. Spray the paint on from side to side or up/down. You also want to begin spraying before you actually get to the model and carry through till you completely pass the model. Keep the can about a foot away from the model, too close can be too thick, too far can lead to it drying too soon, very not good. Check the humidity in the air, this too can cause bad things to happen with the paint.

I first primed the vehicles with black. Any brand of black will do, although I used Army Painter. This is just a base coat for the paint to adhere to. This initial layer was left to dry overnight. I then used a grey. In my case it was the remainder of my Adeptus Battlegrey, now Mechanicus Standard Grey. I also used Reaper Ash Grey later on for other vehicles. I tried to give the tank a good coverage of the grey. I wasn't too intent on making sure every nook was painted. As I put other layers on, they should get those locations I missed. In addition, having some of the black, or other future colors, peeking through gives it some variety. While this layer was drying, I laid out a strip of Tamiya Masking tape of about 8-10 inches in length.

I then randomly placed the tape onto the tank. The designs can be completely up to you. Be creative if you wish. Cut holes into them to let other layers through. Go round, or add more than 4 sides to each piece. You can vary the sizes from small to large. These will mask the grey under the tape from any other colors that we may put on. When it is finally done and all the tape is removed, the grey will have the appearance of being the last color put onto the tank. When the tape is placed onto the tank, be sure to burnish the edges down to prevent the future layers from seeping under the tape. For this you can use most anything that is smooth and rounded. I used a sculpting tool. Once I was happy with the placement, I proceeded to add the next layer of paint. The next layer happened to be leftover Tamiya Desert Yellow in a spray can. Tallarn Sand is a good replacement. I sprayed this onto the tops and sides of the tank. I didn't go for the bottom of the tank or the bottom of the 'wings' either. Then while that layer was drying, I again got the tape out and cut more designs. I then airbrushed on Graveyard Earth, which is now replaced by Steel Legion Drab. I got the tape out again, but this time I went for varied stripes of tape. Another point, try to have your tape pass over, contact, or in some way contact your previous pieces of tape.

Finally, the last layer of paint was a dark green. I went back to a spray can of Army Painter. I want to point out one thing here. Ultimately, you want to use a spray paint that you also have in bottle form. If you have to do any touchups for any reason, you want the colors to match. This is one of the reasons why using an airbrush is preferred over a spray can. This last layer I tried to get a good coverage over all the tank. In the real world, this layer would usually be the base layer that all the other colors are then added onto.

I let this layer dry after approximately 30 minutes and proceeded to remove the tape carefully. Using an exacto knife to lift an edge on a mask piece, I removed it with tweezers. Here you will see that around the first pieces of tape that there could be raised spots where the paint has built up. You can break these down with a fine sandpaper.  
The next step I took was to complete any extra paining. The guns were painted and washed. The pouches were painted and washed too, the shovels, etc. I then sealed it with a light layer of gloss and applied decals, sealing it again. The gloss coat allows for the decals to settle easier. In addition, the weathering layer is much easier with a smooth coat. 

Using oil paints for weathering is the part that gives most people pause. As they work so much differently than the standard acrylics, many people don't like to step out of their established comfort zone. In this case it was extremely simple. Get a can of turpenoid and a small tube of Van Dyke Brown or even Burnt Umber. Squeeze out a small amount of the paint. I put mine into the lid of an old jar and poured out some turpenoid to create a wash. You may need to experiment here to get the consistency you like. Then, using a detail brush just touch around the rivets with your wash. The paint will fill in the area around the rivet like magic. It'll make you wonder why you never tried it in the first place! Even better, if you went to far or don't like how it came out in some spots, you can wet a qtip with turpenoid and just wipe it away. Here is where the gloss coat really helps you out. Another trick you can try is to dampen a flat brush and lightly drag it down the sides of the vehicle pulling the paint down to create a nice effect akin to rain washing down the side.

Knowing these simple to use tricks, you can change things up and try different combinations. Go for a striking color shame if you wish. This can also be used to great effect of Tau and Eldar craft as well. Imagine a large dragon template cut out in tape and placed onto the edge of a Wave Serpent.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mordheim Week Eight

Finally, our week eight arrived! After about two months, we were able to get another turn in. And this time, the bands Warband Ratings really played a part. The Temple Guardians had the highest rating and chose to pass on the initiative. In our case, this reset the order of movement, forcing the teams with the lowest rating to move first. Resulting in the Temple Guardians going last. All of this led to a huge scrum near the middle of the board with Ed, cajoling three of the other players into the large four-way battle. 

I only had one table setup for the large battle. That was no problem. The only issue was, knowing how Armageddon games go, and large numbers of players in RPGs too, the game tends to last at least twice as long. By the time we had to call the game due to time and others having to leave, I think they were able to get in only four turns each. We were going to leave it up and pick up next week, yet I had plans for the campaign in the weeks to come and just called it later in the week. Oh, the grumblings I heard as everyone said 'they got hosed!' They will get over it. As I knew the Lizardmen were going to rout on their turn and seeing the battle as it stood, I saved all quite a bit of time.

Goblins on the March, with skinks!

Charge of the Cold-Bloods!
Hold the Line!

We still haven't rolled for the injuries for the Lizardmen as of the writing of this post. There may be a big change in the Power Ratings. The Temple Guardians did have at least fives losses with one of them being the new Hired Sword Ogre Bodyguard, the cursed one... 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mordheim Warbands

We have been on another hiatus since June began. More real life has interrupted us. We are planning on resuming on the 29th of June. Since then I have taken a few pictures of some of the warbands that are involved. Most of these are the NPC warbands, except for the Night Goblins. That band belongs to my wonderful wife. So you know, the photos were taken with my iPhone so they may not be the best.

As for making the warbands, I make a generic list to start then proceed to create the warband. I always over make models to cover for WYSIWIG or injuries along the way. So you will see the Undead has four Dregs, but you can only have three in your band. Also, if you don't like how a particular weapon type performs, you can switch it out for one of the extras that have been created.

As for painting, all but the Elves and the Goblins have been done in the last 6 months to a year. I follow the same simple process of base, wash, then highlight with the base again. I will also add some extra highlights here and there or an extra wash if I want it to be darker or have a different tint to it. The dwarves were exceptionally easy as they are mostly armor and hair. Send me questions if any.

Dwarf Treasure Hunters (wife's new warband?)

Beastmen Raiders

The Undead. The Dregs are on the level before the Vampire.

The Possessed. The Chaos Warrior hired sword alongside Father Rex.

Night Goblins. A bit blurry upon second glance

The Shadow Elves

Coach for the Stagecoach Ambush scenario.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


circle with bleached bone on the bottom and an eight box pattern checkerboard on top. To show this I painted the markings on their right knee. I know now its supposed to their left knee. Anyway, for the guys without knee pads where do I paint the markings? I decided to put it on their backpacks. Here are the steps I used. 

First, I two toned the exhaust about 50/50 white/bleached bone or ushtabi bone

Then using a micron pen I drew in a line between the two colors. 

Then I split it in half across the top. I also marked approximately halfway again where I want the next vertical line to be. Connecting the dots is easier than trying to do it freehand. 

Using the same technique I drew in another horizontal line. Next I marked every other space to be blacked out. I used the pen for some spots and painted in the larger spots. 

Here is what a Micron pen looks like. I used the smallest tip I could find. 

In this picture you can see the Sgt with the backpack and the troops with the knee pads done in the same style.

Using these steps you can create a checkerboard pattern anywhere you need and use differing colors of needed. 

In addition the pen is great for filling in deep spaces such as armor joints or even for eyes. Since they come in other colors I have used them for the joints on my Grey Knights using a blue pen. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mordheim Week Seven

We are now halfway through our campaign. Many of the map hexes are now occupied and the NPC warbands are being squeezed out. From here on, there will be many player versus player battles taking place. I am afraid there may be some bad feelings to grow as the players re-battle each other. Especially as warbands begin to separate themselves in ability and might. As the Campaign Organizer, I have to limit that and nip it in the bud as quickly as possible. 

Not all warbands are created equal. The Night Goblins of my wife are fighting an uphill battle every week. Knowing ahead of time they were created mainly as an NPC warband, she bravely chose to lead them. They really are held back monetarily by the Fanatic, and the low stats they all have. I didn't even mention the Animosity rule that she has come across several times at bad moments. She did hire a Black Orc and he has mitigated some of the damage, still low strength, short range, and lots of early casualties have hampered here fromt he start. On the other hand there is the Shadow Warriors. They are very expensive, low numbered, and have high stats but have trouble wounding. It doesn't' really help that many of the scenarios have few buildings, but there are many open ranges for them to shoot across. I really have not bought into the Shadow Elves being overpowered. They still have a strength and toughness of three unable to get crossbows, halberds, flails, etc. Finally, the Pit Fighters also suffer from some of the same problems of the Elves, very expensive and low numbers. Now they do have great benefits from being in buildings. Yet they are hard to find in Empire in Flames. Even so, their low numbers really hamper them no matter their elite status.

We are taking off the month of May. Some of us have to deal with real life. In the down time, I am painting up some more Hired Swords and some more terrain that I have plans for. I have told the players what the next three scenarios are: Wild Wood, Stagecoach Ambush, and Last Order. I have plans to take photos of the NPC warbands to post in the upcoming weeks.

Defend the Find: Classic Mordheim scenario with lots of buildings. The 'find' is the central pond not the building.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mordheim Week Six

We have concluded our sixth week. There are another eight scheduled missions to go. We have one more session with the three current missions (Warmachine, Bounty Hunting, Defend the Fine) before we take a month-long hiatus. Real life is stepping in for most of the month of May. This works out fine for me. It lets me set up some more terrain items, build more scenario pieces, and apparently more Hired Swords

Speaking of which, I am supplying the Hired Swords that are available. I have many, if not most, of the standard Hired Swords that are out there, painted and ready to go. The main ones being seen are the Tilean Marksman and the lycanthropic Ogre Bodyguard. The other ones available are found in the first Town Cryer. Since there are a limited supply of Hired Swords, I have incorporated a bidding system for them. I have the players send me their single bid. It must be at least the minimum required to hire the guy. The highest bidder then gains their services at standard upkeep prices. If for whatever reason a warband has to drop the Hired Sword, I keep the stats and make them available for other warbands. 

I understand that not every campaign manager can provide the Hired Swords for all players or even NPC warbands. Why do I do this? Why not just have the players go at it? I am trying to get a narrative to the whole campaign. If for some reason an NPC warband starts to grow into a real nemesis for the players they may get a real desire to avoid/destroy the warband. This can also give me a branch to follow and cultivate as well when it comes to the campaign. It also gives the players a chance to try out another warband that may be different from their own. Player X may get tired of running a 'shooty' warband and see what it's like to use a close combat oriented warband. In addition, I am rotating the opponents, the players and the warbands. Everybody will play against everybody at least once, NPC warbands too. Although, the Reiklanders have been retired, so not everyone got to play them. It can get to be really frustrating or boring to play against the same opponent every turn. Unfortunately, the map is filling up with player victories, and the unclaimed NPC locations are dwindling fast. Soon, the players will be going up against each other weekly. We are about half way through the campaign. I do have some particular missions that will have everyone involved.

Bounty Hunting Mission: Next time, I would not use Forest area terrain...Just trees

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mordheim Week Five

Our second set of three missions started this past weekend. The ones I selected this week are the basic, Defend the Find, Bounty Hunting from Empire in Flames, and Warmachine from the Nemesis Crown scenarios. There is quite a bit of money and booty to be gained for successful warbands. 

We also had our first player vs player battle this weekend. The Lizardman 'Temple Guardians' of Ed went up against Judith's Norse 'Sea Wolves' in the Bounty Hunting mission. As I am using forest area terrain, the Norse band hid amongst the trees afeared of the skink missile fire. In the end the Norse voluntarily routed after losing several wolves and a henchmen, to hand to hand combat. In her defense, several of her models were down as well when her turn started. She could have lost more.

My wife's Night Goblins brought out her brand new River Troll! Me, playing the NPC Beastmen with the Mortar perfectly guessed the ranges each time. Each time it scattered too, but I was pleased with myself. I was until I got a critical '6' with a club. Using the expanded critical chart, a '6' with a club is the most powerful weapon in the game. I was able to take out the troll with a single swing after avoiding the troll's charge. Needless to say, if the troll had died, I would have had to sleep in a hotel.

As the Games Master for this campaign, there are several things I would like to mention for others. First, the Games Master should know the rules very well. This goes for almost any campaign or tournament. If, on the off hand chance something does come up that you do not have an answer for, you as the GM must make a quick but good decision to keep the game going. Especially, if researching the question can slow or stop the game. This is the main thing you want to avoid, game stoppage! Second, you want to challenge your players. Give them something that makes them think, or work hard to defeat/accomplish. You know how after playing John Madden Football so many times you get bored of beating the computer 77-0. That's when you ignore the game and go on to something new. That is what I am talking about, boredom, old-hat. The best games you ever remember are the ones where it comes down to final play or move that wins the game. Being down 17 with scant time remaining, yet you still pull it off. That is how you want the game to go. Admittedly, as a GM I have upped the player's opponents once in a while to make it tougher. Don't tell them, but I even doubled the hit points of several monsters at times. I sorta hope my wife got that feeling of accomplishment of winning after I brained her troll. Fortunately for me, the troll as a henchman can never die. He just regenerates. Which saved my skin!
Warmachine Scenario: the mortar sits in this Ebay bought Hirst Arts castle.

And the Troll, just before he got his head smashed! I felt like high-fiving everyone,  wife very upset!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mordheim Week Four

Our fourth week concluded this past Saturday. Our fifth week begins this next Saturday with new maps and new missions. With the 'Thing in the Woods' mission, we finally had a continuing casualty (lycanthropy) after 5 battles. The NPC Reiklander band that I was controlling got royally mauled by one of the bale wolves. It took out 6 members by itself. Every henchmen suffered a fatal wound. The only exception was the Ogre bodyguard. 

I was on the verge of retiring the warband due to them losing half of their warband and them being an NPC band. But from the very first week, the players requested I continue the NPCs and let them grow, good or bad. Since then, I have been tracking their history. Originally the filler warbands were created using 400gc. This made them weaker from the start. I wanted the players to have an opponent if they moved into an open hex, but I didn't want them to run into a brick wall. Yet, with the dice gods, things have gone wrong for a player warband. The plan was to have generic warbands set up at 400gc levels, 500gc levels, 600gc levels, and even 1000gc levels. This would make it easier to set up a Boss warband. Once the map fills up, the non-player bands will fall away. I will pull them out one by one based on their strength, with the Reiklanders currently looking to be the first to face 'sequestration'.

At the end of each week, I have the winners select a location they wish to move into for the upcoming week, no win equals no move. The order of movement depends on the warband ratings. The band with the highest rating can choose to have the higher ratings choose first or the lower ratings choose first. Think of it from A to D or from D to A. This gives a reason to have a high rating since I have removed some of the choices with regards to mission. In my other campaigns I had the players email me where they would like to move to next. This incorporated a 'Fog of War' element to it. This time I do not have a numbered map. It used to matter before as there were specific sites that had point values or other benefits for warbands or certain locations led to certain missionsi.e. Undead and cemeteries, Wizard's Tower. Since I am not utilizing map terrain to determine battles, this isn't too big a problem. When I get more ruined buildings, I may switch back to the original idea and Mordheim map.

The Thing in the Woods: The trees are made from PVC pipes covered in plaster tape supported with thick wire and insulation at the base.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mordheim Week Three

The third week of our campaign concluded some days ago. I used the same three tables and scenarios. I did have the players rotate though. Each person faced a new opponent and warband. The players are still going up against the NPC warbands as none of them have moved into an opposing players territory yet. I'm not sure if it's due to fear or respect though. 

What I have the players do is play two games on each meet. On one game Player A will control their warband against an NPC band controlled by Player B. They then switch with Player A running an NPC warband against Player B's warband. This accomplishes many goals. It gives everyone a chance to try out a new warband. This also keeps the campaign moving without having to 'waste' moves waiting for players to meet up. The NPC warbands are sort of a filler, a wandering monster if you will. Finally, it lets the player warbands grow and gain experience as they would otherwise get bored if they had nobody to confront each week.

Why didn't I change the scenarios from the previous week? Well, I want every player to go through the same missions when the campaign ends ultimately. Everyone will all go through the same gauntlet. They may not always get the same opponent though. That will be the randomness of it. This will change once the players start to confront each other. Then I will have the two players utilizing the same mission. Basically, I will do this three board/mission rotation three more times at least. As I have expanded the campaign list to fourteen, maybe fifteen total missions. It also allows for me to plan and prepare the board ahead of time. If I do not yet have the specific models or terrain yet, this give me a few weeks to get them ready. Best of all, my wife lets me keep the boards set without having to clean up each week!! She's awesome!!

For each post I will explain another game mechanic. Some of them I have used before, others for the first time. Most of what I am using I put together years ago and was modified some and posted on the Mordheimer website as the Campaign Aid. Finally, my players are heading into week five and eventually the blog will catch up with the campaign. More than likely this will happen next week. Feel free to comment or ask questions.

Lost in the Bog: There is a cemetery in the middle surrounded by boggy terrain.

Lost in the Bog: Game play from week 3, the Wolves of Winter caught in a pincer move by Count Victor von Bargen

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mordheim Week Two

For this campaign I have selected a few missions ahead of time to use that all players will go through eventually. This way, everybody plays the same mission, but they may not have the same NPC opponent. Our second week completed some time ago. The second through fourth weeks, the players will rotate through the same three missions: The Thing in the Woods, Lost in the Bog, and The Frenzied Mob. These are all from the Empire in Flames sourcebook. To make it easy for me the GamesMaster and fair for the players, all three mission tables remain the same for each of the players.

For the players, I have provided everything except their own warbands. They are all pre-painted and ready to go. I even have some henchmen that they can hire too. If for whatever reason, a henchmen has to be released from a warband they would keep the experience they had already gained. I am also going through the extra effort to grow the NPC warbands as well. I had them start out with lower GC, but I give them the benefit of a doubt if they need an extra point of experience sometimes. I want the NPCs to be challenging, but not a walk over either.

Mission Info that we have come across. The Thing in the Woods needs another objective beside beating the other warband. Otherwise, one can just sit back as we saw happen with a couple of the games. Maybe force the player warband to make it to the other side similar to Breakthrough. Lost in the Bog worked fine, not much to change there. The Frenzied Mob needed something in the center of the board as a goal as well, possibly even make the townsfolk not worth any experience points otherwise it becomes an exp trove.

Frenzied Mob: Four buildings with four townsfolk each

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mordheim Week One

We have started up another Mordheim campaign. This will be my fourth such campaign I have managed. All except for the third campaign, I have run at our home using my own terrain. Anyway, this one is different than the rest. I am utilizing the Empire In Flames almost exclusively. Most of the scenarios and rules are being incorporated throughout. I have also thrown in some other missions that I have come across from the Nemesis Crown worldwide campaign or other sites.

There are five players involved with seven NPC warbands that they may encounter during the next few weeks. The player warbands are as follows:
  1. Middenheimers: Wolves of Winter
  2. Averlanders: The Krewe
  3. Lizardmen: The Temple Guardians
  4. Norse: The Sea Wolves
  5. Night Goblins: Gurk's Gang
The NPC bands are:
  1. Beastmen Raiders: led by Chief Bloodtail
  2. Undead:  led by Vampire Victor von Bargen
  3. Shadow Elves: Shadow Master Aldalome
  4. Pitfighters: Pit King Mungus the Unbowed
  5. Cult of the Possessed: headed by Father Rex
  6. Clan Eshin Skaven: with Assassin Adept Rurduk Redeyes
  7. Reiklander Mercenaries: Prokop Draken is the Captain
A few words about the setup. I am using the Mighty Empires set of tiles to represent the area outside Mordheim in a giant hexagon. This leaves an extra corner unoccupied by a player. I then set up several tables that are similar to the locations on the map. When or if the players win, then they can move into a new tile. This then lets me set the tables for next week according to the locations on the tile. After each week ends, I write up a newsletter covering the previous turn and possibly setting upcoming turns as well. 
The first Town Cryer is here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dungeons of Dread Review

This is a quick review of the latest release from Wizards of the Coast, The Dungeons of Dread.

These modules were originally released some 30+ years ago. They were quite amazing back then. Compiling the Tomb of Horrors, White Plume Mountain, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, and the Lost Caverns of Tsjocanth, the adventures were grand in scale and the challenges were to the same scale. White Plume Mountain may be the weakest of the four but it still threw some curve balls that the party would have to overcome.

Anyway, they could have done so much more with this release. The other books in this 'series' of re-releases were quite nice. They are practical reprints of the originals. This one seems weaker and lacking. The art is not as sharp, akin to poor photocopies, i.e. Alu-Demon pg 167 . The art has lost its sharpness, more muddied and almost like the ink bled at times. Also, unlike most of the modules you got back then, you had maps to pull out and set up as a screen, not anymore. There is no real demarcation between the four quests. I would have liked to read about what went into them, background to their creation, side stories things like that. I am letdown by this release.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I finally completed the Sherman tanks that came with the two Open Fire sets for Flames of War. One set is the three resin M4s that came their original entry box. The other Sherman's are the Mark Vs with the Fireflies. I think I have the versions right, not too sure. Anyway, I painted them all at the same time and all the same way. I had to wait for the decal sets to arrive before I could complete them. My FLGS did not have any in. But from the photos you can see that each set looks different. At least I can since they're right in front of me. The differences are in how I weathered them. The three American Shermans, I just added some weathering powder all over it which apparently wasn't enough as I no longer see it in the crevices that before made them appear very dusty, as from Africa or Italy.

The British Shermans are differentiated due to my use of two colored washes, B Squadron (Squares) I used GW Devlan Mud, a brown, all over and then a pin wash with Badab Black. The A Squadron (Triangles) I used Gryphonne Sepia which is more yellow then the pin wash. I used the yellow as originally I thought them to be too dark.

Either way, they are all different, but I think they look equally good as it stands. I wanted to see how they would come out regardless of the appearances.